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^^^I believe it's a walkway for employees to move in and out without being seen.

That's exactly what it is, but I think he meant how does it fit into the "theme."

 

Honestly, it's not that much different than the road that runs smack down the middle of DisneySea, but you never notice because it's extremely well hidden and themed!

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^^^I believe it's a walkway for employees to move in and out without being seen.

That's exactly what it is, but I think he meant how does it fit into the "theme."

 

Honestly, it's not that much different than the road that runs smack down the middle of DisneySea, but you never notice because it's extremely well hidden and themed!

 

That answered it, its for employees. I knew there was an actual reason it was there, lol.

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I got there at 5am this morning. The only thing that was bad was the line for escape from gringotts was confusing and just went everywhere and each direction. Stand-by was posted at 150 when my party enter the bank. Ended up waiting two hours in stand-by and that was with the breakdowns. Overall as a Potter fan its one of the best things I've experienced.

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This is just awesome! Thanks for heading to the park today guys to get the photos and reviews of everything. I'm really tempted to head to Orlando soon to make my rounds of the parks since it has been quite sometime. I really hope that it does live up to the hype!

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Can someone clear this up for me please:

 

What in the hell is a giant bridge thing doing in the middle of the entrance? At the top of the photo below.

 

10471433_822466381105166_3002625928392571296_o.jpg

 

In promotional images, it showed a train crossing this section, but that clearly doesn't happen in real life.

 

 

 

 

I think it's just so Diagon Alley feels like a london back alley.

 

It's weirdly one of the details I really like! As it really does remind me of the similar streets around London where abouts I used to live, with quirky old shops and cobbled streets with the overground trains running overhead.

 

 

 

I LOVE the look of the area and am dying to fly over and visit next year. I hope the atmosphere is what I'd hoped. Just curious though about Gringotts, lately I've struggled abit with simulator rides due to motion sickness (never had it before but it seems to have developed) how is the ride for that?

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Thank you guys for the reports! Seems like it is a pretty successful opening day overall.

 

One thing I was wondering, does anyone have an overview shot of the land? Like a layout of the streets and where the coaster/train/shops/food places are all located? There may have been a shot of the park map or something but I missed it. Thanks!

From the park map:

 

Thanks Robb, that helps a ton!

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How's it going Jack? Gonna try to help you out with a few things here. Dynamic Structures built the ride system for FJ (Forbidden Journey) the RV bases, busbar track system, operating system, and so on. Kuka Robotics supplied the arms that attach to the RV and operate on the system Dynamic Structures put in place. Kuka also supplied the arms that animate the movement of the Dementors and Whomping Willow. Universal Creative wrote the program that Dynamics program controls.

 

Gringotts on the other hand is an even larger collaboration of companies including all the ones you listed plus Intamin. Gringotts is not a SFX Coaster from Dynamic Structures. It's an in house creation and executed through a massive collaboration of companies & engineers. Can't really get into Gringotts but trust me it's pretty advanced lol. If your interested I'm gonna and paste part of a write up I did on The Forbidden Journey last year. It includes a break down of an earlier version of the ride. Take care!

 

Would you happen to have some sort of online source for this juicy info? If so, I can add it to the ride's Wikipedia page so the world can see.

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Thank you guys for the reports! Seems like it is a pretty successful opening day overall.

 

One thing I was wondering, does anyone have an overview shot of the land? Like a layout of the streets and where the coaster/train/shops/food places are all located? There may have been a shot of the park map or something but I missed it. Thanks!

From the park map:

 

Any one else think it's coincidence that the Leaky Cauldron and Florean Fortescues on the map are letters J and K, I see what you did there Universal.

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I apologize if I missed it, but I recall reading that there was supposed to be some kind of effect on the Hogwarts Express entering the station platform.

 

I'm not a Potter fan but I understand in the books and movies the platform is accessed via a wall between two platforms, and USH was going to emulate this experience. Can anybody explain what it's like?

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The effect of guest walking through an actual brick wall or in the story Platform 9 3/4 is achieved via peppers ghost effect. A large piece of glass is camouflaged into a large luggage cart directly in between those parading through the effect and those watching it. In addition lighting is key to pull off this effect as is the angle in which guests see it.

 

Watch this video, stop after the first 20 seconds if you don't want on ride spoilers.

 

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How's it going Jack? Gonna try to help you out with a few things here. Dynamic Structures built the ride system for FJ (Forbidden Journey) the RV bases, busbar track system, operating system, and so on. Kuka Robotics supplied the arms that attach to the RV and operate on the system Dynamic Structures put in place. Kuka also supplied the arms that animate the movement of the Dementors and Whomping Willow. Universal Creative wrote the program that Dynamics program controls.

 

Gringotts on the other hand is an even larger collaboration of companies including all the ones you listed plus Intamin. Gringotts is not a SFX Coaster from Dynamic Structures. It's an in house creation and executed through a massive collaboration of companies & engineers. Can't really get into Gringotts but trust me it's pretty advanced lol. If your interested I'm gonna and paste part of a write up I did on The Forbidden Journey last year. It includes a break down of an earlier version of the ride. Take care!

 

Would you happen to have some sort of online source for this juicy info? If so, I can add it to the ride's Wikipedia page so the world can see.

 

No this was article written in partnership with those cannot be named sorry

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On the one side I envy you guys for being there on opening day - on the other side I would despise the lines, opening day or not...

 

Big thanks for the live-tweeting and all the info.

 

Is Gringotts worthwhile without the 3-D glasses? I have a special eye condition that makes all 3-D stuff not work for me so would it be wise to line for this?

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What in the hell is a giant bridge thing doing in the middle of the entrance?

 

I remember hearing, probably on Inside the Magic, that it blocks the view of Gringotts and the dragon so people will be drawn further into Diagon Alley and not stopping at the entrance to take pictures, causing traffic jams. Basically theatrical crowd control.

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Just wanted to add a few comments about how the elevated railway going over Diagon Alley fits in with the theme. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a very faithful embodiment of the books and films, but obviously is not 100% identical to them. They've already taken some creative license in the past to make everything work in a theme park context. For example, the presence of Ollivander's Wand Shop in Hogsmeade Village does not exist in the books or films, but the story in the park is that a second location has been opened in Hogsmeade. This was so the Ollivander's concept could be included in the experience before Diagon Alley ever existed at Universal. While Universal has changed/added/created things that are different from what we see in the films or read in the books, they've made these alterations with the utmost care and creativity, so they don't really clash with the world we see on the screen or page. Actually, the films display subtle changes from film to film as well (just look how the castle and its setting change and adapt throughout the series as the tone of the films change or as the plot requires.) The great thing about all of this is that The Wizarding World perfectly lends itself to these changes/additions/adaptations, because, well, simple magic can explain away the sudden appearance of an elevated railway zooming over Diagon Alley.

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Sorry if this is a stupid question but where there any restrictions on the hogwarts express? With the two and a half hour wait to get into diagon alley and return tickets for a later time, was there anything stopping people from just getting in line and taking the train in IOA to get straight into diagon alley

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Sorry if this is a stupid question but where there any restrictions on the hogwarts express? With the two and a half hour wait to get into diagon alley and return tickets for a later time, was there anything stopping people from just getting in line and taking the train in IOA to get straight into diagon alley

 

I believe the Hogwarts Express enters/exits into the London section not Diagon Alley?

 

Am I correct?

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On the one side I envy you guys for being there on opening day - on the other side I would despise the lines, opening day or not...

 

Big thanks for the live-tweeting and all the info.

 

Is Gringotts worthwhile without the 3-D glasses? I have a special eye condition that makes all 3-D stuff not work for me so would it be wise to line for this?

 

I totally agree with you on the envy, i saw the videos of the crowds from Inside the Magic and it looked crazy! What I'm interested in is how quickly/slowly do you think the crowds will die away. Hogsmede is still the most popular part of Islands of Adventure.

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My experience of Diagon Alley Opening Day was quite different. Having checked the USO website that park opening was 9am (NOT the actual unannounced 5:45am for resort guests and the public who got the word), I got into the park at 9:30 am and made my way to the the Diagon Alley line entrance in Central park where they told us the wait to enter Diagon Alley was already 6 hours!!!) That turned out to be a blatant lie and in discussing this with park execs later, I was told they should not have told us what the wait would be; in any case, the line was moving fairly rapidly so I got into line. The worst part of the line occurred behind Simpsons where we were subjected to direct blasts of sunlight and the exhaust from Simpsons A/C which made the wait with a total of 2 misters like vacationing in hell. Fortunately, that part of the line only lasted about 45 minutes and once we got into the MIB outdoor queue with shade and misters, it was fairly pleasant. The total time to actually gain entrance to Diagon Alley was 3 hours. USO realized this idea was a disaster and started distributing timed return passes (USO's Fast Passes - not Express Passes) in the afternoon. After photographing London, I made my way through the brick wall entrance into Diagon and immediately got into line for lunch at the Leaky Cauldron, which handled its lines very efficiently and the food (Scotch Eggs, Toad in the Hole and the Tongue-Tying Lemon Squash) was very tasty. The staff were fun to interact with and they have their own version of the Magic Rose RFID device to take to your table with your drink: a large magic candlestick which is amazingly heavy! After lunch I wandered through the shops and environments and each store was more awesome than the previous one. Caught Celestina Warbeck and the Banshee's concert performance which was great entertainment, then made my way over to Gringotts. The dragon roared and breathed his fiery dragon's breath and the wait time for the ride was then 300 minutes. I was advised that single rider was half that and ALL INDOORS WITH A/C whereas the Standby line spent 4 hours outdoors. I got into the Single Rider line which allows limited but good views of the bank lobby with the goblins at work before directing Single Riders into a luxurious mahagony wood paneled hallway. The line moved slowly so everyone wound up sitting on the floor and playing with our cellphones. We got excited when we saw the warning video which displayed the ride vehicles dropping and rotating. Just as we made it onto the curving staircase the ride broke down. The break down lasted 45 minutes and once again we sat down, this time on the stairs and got to know the people in line around us, including a couple from Sweden who chose that day to visit USO. Finally made it onto the loading platform after 3.25 hours; as we got to the top we asked the people in the standby line how long they had been waiting and they told us: 8 FREAKING HOURS! That's right. 8 FREAKING HOURS! we Single Riders felt awfully smug in our air conditioned 3 hour wait. The ride is extraordinary. Robb has described it but I have a different takeaway, believing it's more of a coaster experience than he does. Combine a tilt coaster (yup), Mummy-style trains, 4K High Def 3D. Omnimax and Cinerama screens and incredible visuals synced to ride movement, and the final reaction is stunned amazement, awe and lots of screaming! Frankly, I LOVED it. Other highlights: Chocolate Chili and Clotted Cream ice cream from Florian Fortesque's Ice Cream Parlor and the Hogwarts Express. All in all, a magical day and look forward to many return visits.

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Sorry if this is a stupid question but where there any restrictions on the hogwarts express? With the two and a half hour wait to get into diagon alley and return tickets for a later time, was there anything stopping people from just getting in line and taking the train in IOA to get straight into diagon alley

 

You exit Hogwarts Express from Hogsmead into King's Cross Station which is OUTSIDE the Diagon Alley/London fence so you still have to get into line for Diagon Alley if there will be lines in the future. With the time-stamped Return Passes I believe there will not be long lines going forward.

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Can someone clear this up for me please:

 

What in the hell is a giant bridge thing doing in the middle of the entrance? At the top of the photo below.

 

In promotional images, it showed a train crossing this section, but that clearly doesn't happen in real life.

 

Its just a large walkway.

 

So, is this train track in the story? I don't remember it in the movie. It just really seems weird and out of place. Can anyone explain it?

 

Think of it as Utilidors for Diagon Alley to get merchandise and cast members into the shops without being seen by the guests in Diagon Alley

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So who has been confirmed to be involved on the Gringotts project? Which companies are responsible for what in the ride?

 

Did you not read the lengthy post by HTF? Just before your own or at least the beginning.

 

 

I did, but I was wondering for more specifics. For example, Intamin was responsible for which parts and Dynamics Structures was responsible for such and such parts.

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